Vaccinations in Uxbridge, North Durham, to begin next week

·3 min read

Durham Region residents are rolling up their sleeves as COVID vaccines for those 80 and older become available in the Region. While this feels like a huge step towards a safer, and more normal, future, many people are confused as to where, when and who actually qualifies for the shot.

On Monday morning, the Region opened up vaccine booking for those 80 years of age and older (or turning 80 in 2021), at either the Clarington or Pickering vaccine clinic. Booking for those first available slots reportedly filled up in about 45 minutes. Those who were unable to sign up for a shot due to the clinic being fully booked are encouraged to check back frequently, as more appointment times will become available.

Throughout the province, each region’s public health department is in charge of following the phased vaccine roll-out plan, which explains why there may be some differences when it comes to the timing of each region’s vaccine availability. At this time, the vaccine is available only to those who are 80 years of age and older, to adults receiving chronic home care, or to those who live in congregate care settings.

Local family physicians, Dr. Carlye Jensen and Dr. Jennifer Wilson, released a detailed newsletter on the specifics of getting vaccines into the arms of Uxbridge community members. And they explain in this newsletter that “the vaccine roll-out is extremely strict and we must play by the rules.”

They acknowledge that many people are feeling anxious about when they will get their turn, but offer assurance that no one who is willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 will be left out. Community-based vaccination clinics in North Durham are set to open on March 15. These clinics will operate on a rotating schedule with select days in Brock, Uxbridge and Scugog per week. By Cosmos print time on Tuesday, information on how and when to book at community vaccination centres was not yet available. More information will be released in the coming days.

Along with the question of where and when also looms the question, “what”? With four approved vaccines now available, can one choose which one to receive? In short, no. Procedures, as they stand right now, dictate that the vaccine administered is the vaccine that is in stock at the vaccination centre attended. Right now, the only vaccine in stock in Durham is the Pfizer shot.

While each vaccine may be a little different, with varying degrees of reported efficacy, they have all been approved to significantly reduce the effects of the COVID-19 virus, and to help get the public back to a safer future.

“Due to faster roll-out in other parts of the world, we are seeing that all of these vaccines appear to be equally effective at preventing death and serious disease, which is what we truly care about above all else. The best vaccine is really the one you get the soonest,” says Dr. Jensen.

The province also announced on Tuesday that, starting later this week, 300 pharmacies will be allowed to administer the AstraZeneca shot. The list of selected pharmacies will be announced later this week.

For more information about vaccines in Durham Region, visit durham.ca/en/health-and-wellness To see if appointments are available and to book your shot, visit durham.ca/vaccineappointment or call 1-800-841-2729.

Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos